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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 11/11/2008

October Climate Wrap-up

By Capital Weather Gang

Remember those beautiful stretches of weather last month, with sunny, dry days and cool, crisp nights? Let's take a look back at October to see how it stacks up in the weather record books at some local observing stations:

*Reagan National: The average monthly temperature of 58.9 was close to the normal of 58.8. Precipitation was well below normal with just 1.13" falling compared to an average total of 3.22". The 23 day period from 10/2 - 10/24 with no measurable precipitation marked the third longest dry stretch on record. The peak wind gust was 45 mph on 10/28. The highest temperature recorded was 82 (10/15 and 10/16), and the lowest was 36 (10/31).

*Dulles: The average monthly temperature of 55.2 was close to the normal of 55.0. Precipitation was well below normal with just 1.31" falling compared to a monthly average of 3.37"; the 9th driest October dating back to 1962. The 23 day stretch from 10/2 - 10/24 with no measurable rainfall is the second longest dry stretch for any October. The peak wind gust was 44 mph on 10/28. The first freeze of the season occurred on 10/20 with a low of 29. The highest temperature recorded was 84 (10/14 and 10/16), and the lowest was 28 (10/30).

Keep reading for October weather statistics from Baltimore and Salisbury. For the outlook through the weekend, see our full forecast.

BWI: Temperatures for October averaged near normal at 55.5 or 0.1 above normal. Precipitation was well below normal with only 1.27" reported; compared to a monthly average of 3.16". The 23 day period between 10/2 - 10/24 with no measurable precipitation was the fourth longest dry stretch. The top wind gust was 48 mph on 10/28.

*Salisbury: The average monthly temperature of 54.2 was 3.4 below the normal average of 57.6. Precipitation was well below normal with just 0.92" falling compared to a monthly average of 3.64". The peak wind gust was 51 mph on 10/28.

In summary, October was a dry and seasonable mild month. How will you remember October 2008?

Statistics compiled by Capital Weather Gang volunteer contributor Charlie Wilson, host of the Internet radio program "Center of Circulation."

By Capital Weather Gang  | November 11, 2008; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Local Climate  
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Comments

Jim in Blacksburg here..

Here are the numbers down here in SW Virginia. Similar results to up there in NOVA.

The average temperature was almost exactly normal at 51.8 (0.1 above normal). Interestingly the average high was 0.9 degrees below average, but the average low was 1.2 degrees above average. The highest temp was 81 on 10/14, the lowest 24 on 10/31. First freeze was 10/19 with a low of 31. Precip was well below normal at 1.04" (normal = 3.19").

So, looking at the numbers, this month looks like a normal but dry month. I won't remember it that way though. Fall, to me, has always been a season where temperatures are frequently "normal" (as opposed to normal being an average of extremes like in winter). This October however featured cool weather at the beginning of the month, followed by warm weather through mid-month culminating in some near-record level warmth, followed by some very cold weather at the end of the month (the high on 10/28 was 40!). I recall personally wearing both my heavy winter coat and shorts and a t-shirt in October. So I, personally, will remember this October not for its near-average final results, but for the roller-coaster ride it took us on to get there.

Posted by: jahutch | November 11, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

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